ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Andrew Brown Jr.’s loved ones on Tuesday saw more of the body camera video from the raid in which he was killed by law enforcement.
On April 21, Pasquotank County deputies shot and killed him while serving an arrest warrant on drug charges. There have been daily protests in Elizabeth City since, demanding the video be released publicly.
Attorney Ben Crump, Harry Daniels, and Bakari Sellers gave a press briefing after the family was able to see more of the footage.
Watch the full press briefing below
During the press briefing after the family watched footage of the raid, attorneys said they were able to watch six videos, one dashcam video and five videos from body cameras.
Attorneys said the video showed Brown sitting in his vehicle. They said his hands were visible, and he was possibly on the phone. A shot was fired, and the vehicle was put in reverse several feet from deputies.
The attorneys claimed Brown turned the wheel away from the deputies, but at no point made any contact with the officers, although the district attorney previously said in court Brown attempted to hit the deputies.
Brown then went the opposite direction, which was followed by a second shot. He tried to drive away. The attorneys said they had trouble counting the shots.
With the final shot, attorneys said Brown lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree. There were six bullet holes on the side of the vehicle, one on the front windshield and several in the back.
There were no weapons found. The deputies laid Brown’s body face-first flat on the ground. He had a bullet hole in the back of his head.
Protesters also took to the streets again on Tuesday after the family’s press conference.
Elizabeth City police warned the public to expect delays and road closures on Road Street, Ehringhaus Street, Halstead Boulevard, Water Street, and Elizabeth Street.
Protesters walked at least four miles over several hours.
They were finished by 8:30 p.m., and said they would be back out every day until the footage from the incident is publicly released.
“They treated him like an animal. You don’t treat a human like an animal, you know what I’m saying we are human, you don’t do that. We just gotta pray and see what happens day by day to see what kind of justice we are going to get,” said one protester, Marie Franz Gibbs-Mullen.
The process for family to view bodycam video
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II met the Brown family at the door of the sheriff’s office Tuesday before they viewed the footage.
Though there is about two hours of footage from several cameras, the judge said the family could only view a portion of it because the rest is “not appropriate for disclosure.” There are also several restrictions the judge put on the video Brown’s family was able to see: the deputies’ faces were blurred, and the family and their attorney were not allowed to record the video.
Before Tuesday’s viewing of the footage, Brown’s family had only seen about 20 seconds of video from the incident that led to his death. His family said he was executed, and an independent autopsy revealed he was killed when a deputy shot him in the back of the head.
Later, around 6 p.m. Tuesday night, Wooten and Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg released a 1-minute and 23-second video on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.
In the video, the two offered their condolences to Brown’s family. They also detailed what the family saw in the video, including when deputies attempted to offer aid to Brown after he was shot.
“It was my hope that we would be able to release the video publicly so everyone could see for themselves what happened,” Wooten said.
Fogg said the sheriff’s office would continue to be transparent as the law allows.
Wooten also thanked the county’s residents for demonstrating to the rest of the country how to peacefully protest.
On Monday, the family’s lawyers announced they want Elizabeth City District Attorney Andrew Womble removed from the case due to a conflict of interest.
Wooten, the sheriff has already released the names of the seven deputies involved, and three are still on administrative leave. Wooten told deputies to temporarily relocate after receiving threats.
Now, the sheriff and county leaders want state laws to change, to make the release of body camera video more transparent. A bill in the North Carolina Senate, Senate Bill 300, includes an amendment that would allow a family to view unredacted body camera footage within five business days after a serious police incident that results in death or serious injury.